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SCIENCE FILE: An exploration of issues and trends affecting science, medicine and the environment. : Drug May Help Curb Binge Eating, 2 Studies Suggest

<i> From Times staff and wire reports</i>

A drug now used to reduce consumption of heroin and alcohol may also help control binge eating, two new studies have found. The drug, naltrexone, which stimulates the production of endorphins--the brain’s natural opiate--reduces the pleasurable effects of food in the bingers.

In one study of 41 women, reported by University of Michigan researchers in the July American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who received the drug consumed 160 fewer calories per meal than women who received a placebo. In a second study, published in the August issue of International Clinical Psychopharmacology, researchers at Wayne State University reported that the drug reduced binge eating in 18 of 19 patients who received it.


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